DEDICATIONS, PLEDGES, COMMITMENTS. For the past. For my own path. For surprises. For mistakes that worked so well. For tomorrow if I'm there. For the next real thing. Then for carrying it all through whatever is necessary. For following the little god who speaks only to me. --William Stafford

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Things are different this April day
in 1909, when Albanian soldiers
at Yildiz Kiosk refuse
to surrender, when the last burials
of the men who fell for Schefket Pasha
took place eighty years ago; this day
a boy can drown in a swill barrel
with no help near,

and while the walls of Yildiz Palace
are being razed, burnt, blown to bits,
on the other side of the world
firemen in a junk-shop blaze
are attacked by rats, hundreds of rats,
rats used to the comfortable disorder
and piling rot of old gingham, old wallpaper, old oxfords,

all of them bargains before the blaze,
and the rats.
And fearing she is losing her mind,
the young wife of the manager
of the Rock Island Hotel
throws herself under the wheels
of a passenger train
bound for Denver and points west,

falling with the grace of the six hundred
Albanian soldiers also falling
in Constantinople, with the terrible grace
of the child falling in a swill barrel,
and no one near.

What difference does it make
now, that theirs are only a few more
lovely faces incised with pain,
and that the next morning
the city under seige will be quiet?

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About Me

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1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.